Newman University Athletics has chosen alumnus Jay Holmes ‘89 as the new head women’s soccer coach effective Aug. 20.
He returns to Newman with a long history in the sport, both as a well-known player within the Greater Wichita Athletic League and a highly successful and well-respected coach.
He attended Wichita West High School, where he was selected four times to the All-City Soccer Team. He helped lead his team to a City League championship in 1984 and was inducted into West High School’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
Holmes then came to Newman to play collegiate-level soccer. During his four years playing for the Jets, he was a first-team All-District 10 selection and earned two National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Player of the Week honors. As a midfielder, he finished his Jets career with 45 goals and 35 assists while helping lead the team to their first District 10 championship in 1988.
After graduating, he became deputy director of adult programs for Sedgwick County where he worked for nearly 31 years. He simultaneously coached both boys and girls soccer teams at Maize USD 266 for close to 14 of those years.
He volunteered for several youth club teams before beginning his coaching career with girls soccer at Maize in 2008, where he achieved a high level of success.
He coached the Eagles to 12 Ark Valley Chisolm Trail League (AVCTL) championships and 11 consecutive regional, quarterfinal and state tournament appearances. Holmes was named AVCTL Coach of the Year nine times and was named the 2014 Kansas Large High School Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
In 2012, Holmes also took over the boys team at Maize High School, coaching the team to one AVCTL league championship, one regional championship and a state quarterfinal appearance.
Newman Director of Athletics Joanna Pryor is looking forward to bringing Holmes back to Newman.
“We are very excited to have Jay back at Newman leading our women’s soccer program,” exclaimed Pryor. “Jay brings a unique career background and a very successful coaching background. He is the right person to lead us through a turbulent time in athletics. Our team will be in good hands.”
Holmes was also recognized by the Newman University Alumni Office with the Spirit of Acuto Transformational Leadership Award in 2018. The award celebrates an individual’s drive to respond to the needs of others.
Holmes spent many years working at the Judge Riddel Boys Ranch where he made a difference in a number of children’s lives, providing them with the life skills they needed to achieve goals and live purposefully.
He said his time at Newman provided him a quality education and athletic experience, preparing him for his future careers and helping to make a difference in society. He looks forward to returning to Newman athletics.
“After becoming eligible for retirement from Sedgwick County, I was made aware of the vacancy (at Newman) and immediately applied,” said Holmes. “I am grateful for the opportunity to return to my alma mater and provide an atmosphere for this team to be successful on and off the soccer field. This has allowed me to complete the circle by returning to the Newman family.”
Holmes is a native of Wichita and has been married to his wife, Shanna, for the 31 years. Together they have three children: Miranda, Madison and Connor.